Dyshidrosis: What CBD Can and Can't Do to Help | cannabisMD

Dyshidrosis: What CBD Can and Can’t Do to Help

What CBD can and can't do for dyshidrosis

Dyshidrosis is also known as housewife’s eczema, or pompholyx. It is a kind of a skin condition where tiny fluid-filled blisters appear on the palm of the hands and the side of the fingers that can be itchy, reddened, and painful. It can also affect the soles of the feet on some occasions, while others may have it in both hands and feet.

These blisters will last for around two weeks at most. Once the blisters have dried out, they may appear scaly. Sometimes, another batch of blisters will emerge long before the first ones healed completely.

A dermatophytid or dermatophyte reaction is a histamine response by the immune system to the dermatophyte (usually yeast, mold, or fungus). It is, for all intents and purposes, an allergic reaction. Dyshidrosis is believed to be different from contact dermatitis. However, the two conditions are very alike on many levels.

What Causes Dyshidrosis?

Dyshidrosis is caused by the inflammatory response of the immune system. The immune system is what protects us against harmful alien elements. When the skin breaks out in blisters, this is the immune system’s attempt at protecting an area of skin which is thinks is under attack.

Listed below are 4 of the most common causes of this immune response:

  1. Exposure to irritants and allergens – After direct contact with some irritants and allergens, blisters may appear. These substances also commonly cause flare ups in eczema. They include:
    • Household chemicals
    • Soap
    • Shampoo
    • Detergents
    • Certain metals such as nickel and cobalt
    • Cosmetic products
    • Perfume
  2. Stress – Too much stress can affect the appearance of the blisters and the length of time that they take to heal. It is also believed that if the patient is feeling very stressed and run down, they are more likely to experience an outbreak.
  3. Excessive sweating – Some studies have shown that dyshidrosis is more common in warmer climates. It’s thought that this is because when we sweat too much we’re more prone to fungus and other bacteria on the skin.
  4. Atopic Eczema – Some people with atopic eczema will develop dyshidrotic eczema. Atopic eczema commonly begins during infancy and childhood. The rashes appear where the skin flexes such as on the neck, the back of the knees and inside the elbows. Atopic eczema rashes can last for a few days, or a few months depending on the patient and the severity of their condition.

Dyshidrosis Treatments

Unfortunately there is no known cure for Dyshidrosis. For patients who suffer with this condition, finding a way to prevent outbreaks while also identifying which treatment works best for them are the priorities.

Luckily, prevention can be a simple case of avoiding the allergens and irritants that cause an outbreak. This is much easier to do nowadays, with non-biological laundry detergent, perfume free skin care products, and even hypoallergenic comforter commonplace.

Other methods of prevention include:

  • Use mild soaps and cleansers
  • Take shorter showers in lukewarm water (not scalding hot or cold) to avoid drying the skin
  • Use a daily moisturizer
  • Wear gloves if you know you will be forced to have direct contact with irritants and allergens, especially in industrial work
  • Hydrate your body with plenty of water

While it is possible to lessen the frequency of outbreaks, it is impossible to prevent them from occurring full stop. Thankfully, there are many treatments available. Creams and ointments are commonly used to treat dyshidrosis. In some severe cases though, a doctor will suggest some corticosteroid pills such as prednisone.

Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis is becoming more and more popular by the day. This is largely down to the increased media attention that the drug has received in the last few years. As study after study publishes findings which support the theory that cannabis could be used as a medicine, the attention and curiosity of the media and the general population has grown.

Unfortunately, the legal status of cannabis has very much slowed any scientific discoveries in relation to it. Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 substance under federal law. This means that researchers are very limited when it comes to studying it.

However, some states have legalized the drug for medicinal use. Some have even legalized it for recreational use too. Other states appear keen to follow suit.

Many people are very keen to try medical cannabis as a treatment for an illness, condition or disease that they suffer from. However, they may be worried that taking the drug will cause them to feel “high” or “stoned”.

This is understandable. We are all looking for the treatments we need but we still have to be able to go to work every day, drive our kids to school, and function at the highest possible level.

What people don’t realize is that taking medical cannabis doesn’t have to have this effect. The euphoric feeling which is so heavily associated with cannabis is caused by just one of the 100+ chemicals contained in the plant, called THC.

THC is often removed or extracted entirely from cannabis during the production of medical cannabis products. This means that these products physically cannot cause any psychoactive effects. You can have the benefits of cannabis’ medicinal properties without the “high”.

Medical cannabis is thought to be an effective treatment for a whole host of skin conditions including dyshidrosis. This is because medical cannabis acts as a natural supplement to the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system comprises of receptors which are mainly located in the skin.

This system is thought to be responsible for regulating and maintaining skin health, as well as immune responses (the root cause of dyshidrosis), mood and pain levels.

This is why medical cannabis is currently being used as an experimental treatment for skin conditions like acne and eczema. However, it is experimental. The Food and Drug Administration have only approved one cannabis-based drug to date and this drug is designed to treat epilepsy, not dyshidrosis.

Medical cannabis could help to prevent dyshidrosis by regulating the response of the immune system to irritants and allergens. By helping the immune system to relax, blisters could be avoided. It is also thought that medical cannabis can treat the inflammation caused by blisters as it is a known anti-inflammatory. This should mean that blisters which do occur are much less severe and heal more rapidly.

Unfortunately, there still isn’t enough scientific data to draw any hard and fast conclusion about the effectiveness or safety of medical cannabis as a treatment for dyshidrosis. However, the findings so far are extremely promising. Hopefully this will become a standard treatment for dyshidrosis and other skin conditions in the near future.

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